Form-Based Codes Institute at Smart Growth America

Buffalo Green Code

Buffalo Mixed-Use Edge Place Type

The city of Buffalo, NY took on a significant challenge—to adopt a high-quality, citywide form-based ordinance. Starting in 2010, the city followed a seven-year process to create the Buffalo Green Code as the centerpiece of a place-based development strategy to implement the city’s comprehensive plan. The Buffalo Green Code, which was approved by the Buffalo Common Council and signed into law in January 2017, reflects a tremendous amount of public input on the City of Buffalo’s blueprint for zoning and development in the 21st Century.

“The code provides a rare, high-quality example of a citywide form-based ordinance. It is context sensitive and well organized around building forms. The code legalizes existing desirable but non-compliant development and replaces cumbersome parking requirements with an innovative transportation demand management system. City staff deserves significant credit for their seven-year effort to achieve the difficult balance of developing an exemplary code that is politically acceptable in a complex urban community. The graphics are excellent and the administrative process is streamlined, transparent, and easy to follow. The Green Code serves as an exceptional example of a complex effort that enabled the City to replace an aging, sprawl-inducing city-wide ordinance with a comprehensive form-based code.” – Jury statement from the 2019 Driehaus Award Jury

You can access the full code here.

Additional Information

Buffalo Green Code

Code Categories

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Driehaus Awards:
Award Recipient
Year: 2019

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